tv [untitled] April 1, 2013 11:30pm-12:00am PDT
and the minute that they saw gabby they said ron, get everyone's attention here. we can make 200 people be quiet. we have to make a tribute to what happened today in sandy hook, and a tribute to gabby. and during that tribute which was pallpable, i could tell that the tech community was going to do something. and we did. on december 15th, we started an ad hoc committee of tech volunteers, many of them luminaries in the industry. and we convened three subcommittees that went to work. and we had a defining conference call on december 17th, 72 hours after the tragedy. there were 150 people on that call.
50 of them gathered together in an office in san francisco. and we took action. we resolved that we were going to do something, we convened into the subcommittees that very quickly rallied around the governor of connecticut asked for a moment of silence on the one-week anniversary of the tragedy. so we rallied around that and attracted hundreds of thousands of participates by signing a petition on causes, that i launched, and then we also used some of our tactics from social media, and blacked out over 2,000 web sites for the moment of silence on the one-week anniversary. we did not stop there. we teamed up with one of our good friends who gathered 3
million signatures on the newtown sympathy card, so now we have a band of americans of over 300 million people who agree that we must stop this violence. we helped to build the sandy hook website that launched one month after the tragedy. and we launched the social media around that website. and now, today, on the 3-month anniversary, we are announcing that we should harass and will harass, innovation to bring solutions to gun safety, mental health, and school safety. let's face it, if the tech community can create awesome companies like google, facebook, and twitter, we can certainly turn our attention to
innovating around safety. so we agree that legislative efforts are important, and we are pursuing that. but today is all about innovation and please come to the town hall at noon right behind us here and we are going to have a panel discussion about innovation that exists today and where we can go in future. we are just getting started. this effort will be a marathon, not a sprint and we are very, very committed. the effort is called the sandy hook promise innovation initiative. and in tech we love buzz words. so we have three initiatives underneath the sandy hook promise initiative. number one, we have the tech
committee to reduce gun violence. the second one is the sandy hook promise investment effort. jim pitco who is going to speak next is going to talk about the tech committee to reduce gun violence and review the sandy hook promise investment effort. but in short, we have gathered 30 of the top angels and vcs in america and their names are in the press kit. who are prioritizing innovation to reduce gun violence. we have a subcommittee that will quickly review those opportunities and then, syndicate investment in those opportunities. we can build some huge companies around this issue. and then, the third effort is the sandy hook innovation challenge which is a prize effort that jim pitco will tell you more about right now.
thank you. >> thank you. and i want to thank the individuals and families from sandy hook promise and from our local communities came all the way here today to join us. and i had a chance to meet with some of the families last evening and was deeply moved by their courage and commitment to inspiration to me, and i hope that it is an inspiration to all of us. i am the chairman of the sandy hook promise technology committee to reduce gun violence. we are a committee composed of technology experts. spanning hardware and often wear and interprize applications and internet technology and gun safety technologies. we came together right after
the tragic shootings in newtown to support the needs of the sandy hook promise and i am proud to announce today, the sandy hook innovation challenge. this is a program that will offer an incentive prize to the most promising new ideas. the mechanics of the mies are still being worked out. but here today, i want to issue a call nationwide, call, to the most innovative new ideas. and ask people to who ves ideas to log on to the sandy hook promise website and that is sandy hook promise, all one word,.org. it is intended to dove tail with the government and also to expand the scope of that beyond the areas that the government's
efforts will cover. this will result in the most rapid and thorough exploration of new innovations that will help us reduce gun violence and reduce gun violence against our children. later this afternoon, the technology committee will be meeting and we will work on creating the structure and the promise to insure that all of the innovative ideas that we receive are developed and funded at the highest level possible. technology has proven itself successful in addressing some of our saturday's greatest challenges. and so today, we call on all of us to turn our attention and our energy towards ending gun violence against our children. thank you. >> joining us on stage are mark
and jackie barton. >> first thing that we would like to say is thank you. thank you to the tech community. for putting your time and effort and research into this. and we would like to thank ron and jim. as you said my name is mark barton and this is my wife jackie. we have three children. james is 12, natalie is eleven and daniel 7. three months ago today on
december 14th, i held his little hand as we walked to the bus. i kissed him good-bye. for as you know, will be the last time. daniel as any parent will tell you that their child is special, but what was special about daniel is his kindness. he had a very unique compassionate part of his person. if you noticed the classmate sitting alone, he would ask the teacher to be excused to go and comfort that classmate. his cousins were moved by this to the point where they wanted to set up a facebook site to honor his kindness, they call it what would daniel do, wwdd.
this tech effort, that you guys are doing, is something that daniel would do. this is what daniel would do. he would look into his heart and try to fix things and we can't tell you how much or how deeply it touches us that you are looking into your hearts, taking your time and your talents and devoting yourselves to fixing this. we know that there is no simple answer to this. this is our mission. and it will take government action. we are going to have to look into our hearts about the way that we treat each other. fundamental family values, connecting, talk to the person who is sitting alone.
and the unity, and the tech effort is going to bring to this. it is going to be a huge part of fixing this. and we just want to say thank you, because i think we are going to work together to make the world safer for our children, and their children and so, hopefully in the not too distant future, we are live in a safer society. thank you all very much. >> nicole hawkly. >> i want to echo what mark and jackie said around their thanks for everyone who is here today and supporting this initiative. my name is niekol hawyly and we
have two sons at elementary, jake is in third grade and dillan was in first and last friday would have been his 7th birthday. we were dreading friday, his birthday, but thanks to our friends and wonderful community, it was changed from a day filled with pain and loss into one of beauty and positivity. it was a day filled with purple balloons and cup cakes and butterflies and smiles and laughter. it was a day dylan would have loved. >> three months after his death and i am still in a state of shock. that i know nothing will bring dylan back i am determined to honor him and the others lost that i am dedicated myself to saving other lives to insure that people don't need to go through and the pain that we are going through. if you are a parent, siblings, families, friends and
communities. we met this morning with families from the local area, who have shared this experience, and have lost children and while it was very moving to see their inner strength and courage, the look of pain in their eyes has become all too familiar to me. it is the same pain i see in the families who also lost loved one on 12-14 and the same pain that i notice every time that i look in the mirror. love has so much that connects us because of our losses and while it is helpful to meet with other families who have experienced this and share their experiences, this is the club in which no one would ever choose to be a member. since dylan and his classmates and teachers were murdered we have received hundreds of thousands of cards and
remembrances from across the united states and from around the world. these letters are still coming in every day. we are moved that this tragedy has affected and mobilized the nation, we can feel the thirst for change and the need to do things differently. although, there have been many senseless losses before and since sandy hook, we are determined to make this a turning point for our country. our children can't deliver the legacy that we as parents are instilling in them with the morals and the values. so it is our job as parpts to deliver that legacy forward and be their voice. the change is needed to make our nation safer will take a long time to deliver. but we are not going anywhere. all of us working sandy hook promise are absolutely committed to this cause, and that is why this innovation initiative is so important having so many of the great minds responsible for developing and supporting major advances in technology and
recent history for them to turn their attention to solutions to gun violence, mental health, school safety and community. it gives me hope, at a time when hope is most needed. in my family is deeply grateful for this hope and to be part of this positive change that will benefit all of us in the future, thank you. >> ben and jeremy richmond. >> thank you, for having us today. thank you to the tech industry for coming to our aid. my name is jennifer hensel and this is my husband jeremy richmond, three months ago on december 14th, we lost our only child, daughter of 6 years
aviel rose richmond. at the sandy hook elementary school shooting. on that day, mentally unstable gunman changed our lives and the lives of more than 25 other families in one of the worst ways imaginable. we are devastated. in the wake of our grief, and desperate to understand why someone would kill innocent children why someone would kill my child, we started the aveil foundation. jeremy and i are going to play to our strengths and answer the why. we are scientists and we see the world through an imp erical lens. we established the foundation to address the causes of violence through a focus on brain health. i want to start using this term
brain health. because mental health is intangible. it comes with some degree of trepidation and stigma. but we know that there are real physical, manifestations within the brain that can be imaged, measured, quantified and understood. we can work with that. and then, we can fix it. we know that people who commit these crimes are sick. it is not a coincidence that so many of these tragedies are perpetrated by young men. isolated from their communities, isolated from their support networks, they are alienated, disenfranchised and obsessed. there is something that has gone wrong in these brains. we don't know what that is yet. this is because we have not
paid enough attention. but more so, because the brain is complex and difficult to study. we don't know enough and we can't identify and invenen e unless we now how to treat it. here innovation is critical. our questions are not going to be answered in a traditional way. it would have been solved already. we have to explore the under pinnings of violence with a fresh view, with no assumptions. we need to create technology that allows us to visualize and measure brain functions in an affordable, accurate, and an accessible manner. in our scientific careers we have seen over and over again, seemingly impossible puzzles solved by young, fresh,
thinkers. they don't know the rules. they don't live in a box of assumptions. and therefore, they are free to imagine. and that is why we are so thankful for jim and ron and the sandy hook promise. and owe them a great debt of gratitude because this is what they are asking for. they are asking for people to imagine. first, imagine what it is like to lose a loved one at the hands of a deranged gunman and let that motivate you to do something. imagine that we can identify people at risk of violent behave ors early in their life and intervene, imagine the communitis that support one another. embrace diversety and recognize the value of brain health and then let's go to work.
let's create technology that allows us to visualize, and measure brain functions in an affordable, accurate and accessible manner so we can change the landscape of brain health and stop someone from committing a tragedy like these, ever again. thank you. >> tom pitman. i am one of the co-founders of sandy hook promise, at this point in time we would i like to take some of your questions. it is far too easy. any questions?
>> yes. >> (inaudible) >> actually, from... please. please. the effort is just starting it is a hard to predict. but our hope would be that we see lots of innovative ideas and the 30 vcs luminary vcs and angels will syndicate funding around those ideas and i can't predict a number, i know that it will be a big number because you can't stop innovation. >> yes? >> do you envision the group working in conjunction with the federal lobbying and some of the legislation that we have
seen introduced to play a part in that as well. >> of course, legislation is very important as a part of this effort. and we have been very involved with what has been going on in our state and in washington. but legislation is really just one element and we can't rely completely on that and that is why we are here. i have been in the tech industry for 30 years. i have seen what the tech industry can do. i am very excited about this innovation initiative and what we will be able to do in addition to the legislation that is going forward. >> yes? >> the question was can the tech industrial, alter the software and tech industry. i think that is something that we need to understand as a society and be open to looking at is how do things that are more cultural, such as video games effect our society? and again, that might be
something that wouldn't be legislated but it is something that we have to do, that we the people have to do to look at as parents, for example. >> (inaudible) >> well i think what we need to understand, one thing that we want to do is shine a spot light on those cracks. and on those gaps. and on things that are slipping through. identify those. and then we can look to solutions. and the solutions might be changes in legislation and it might be scientific changes and it might be technology changes. so, our main goal at this point is to say, this is something that needs attention and needs focus. here it is. so where are the issues and what can we do to work on that together. and again, we are hoping that
this innovation initiative, this is not just about gun safety, this is about mental health, this is about other technologies that can help with school safety. so certainly we think that it is broad enough to look at all of those. >> i know that one of you said that this was a marathon and not a sprint, do you have a time frame maybe of telling us publicly about your first really good idea? are we talking about weeks or months or something that is going to go on for over several years? >> well, the things are going to happen very soon. things are going to happen very late. we are going to have efforts that evolve over time. from a marathon perspective, when you look at cultural change, you look at society change that is generational. this could be 20, 30 years, this could be similar to how we deal with drunk driving and how we move forward there. it was not something that happened quickly. in terms of innovation? i believe that we have already seen innovation, and one thing that we are hoping will happen here with more funding is that
some of these innovations will see the light of day and come to light and mature sooner and we hope that some are soon and some will take longer. >> do you want to add, please? >> companies already exist in this space and we are going to talk to some of those companies at the town hall at noon. so, it is early days, but this sector already has companies in it for gun safety, and mental health and school safety. what we want to do is innovate more. so, i would say in a year from now we will be able to point to start ups that started after today that are just starting to grow. i was an early invester in google, facebook and twitter, it takes two to three years before those companies reach
scale. but a year from now, we will be able to point to the googles, the facebook and twitters, who are working in gun safety. this is a huge sector for innovation. >> you were asked what sort of a budget this is. this will be better if you give us a low figure and you give us a range. i can tell you that this is going to play better with the financial figure. >> i am happy to give you an estimate. i am hoping a year from now, that the tech community has invested $15 million in brand new start ups who are seeking innovation for the reduction of gun violence, mental health and school safety. and companies already exist. and this would be seed funding probably in 15 to 20 companies. >> one of the problems in
congress is obviously is a lack of unity around what needs to be done particularly around the gun safety issue. within your own, with 50 or 150, how is it handling those differences in opinions about what needs to be done? could that derail this who process? or is there a complete unity? >> in this community? in the tech community? >> yes. >> are you asking about the tech community? >> sure. >> okay. yes. part of the beauty of innovation is that it is non-partisan. and part of the other beauty of innovation is the best solutions prevail. and so, when we strip away points of view, and focus in on what technologies will actually work. we shift the equation from rhetoric to pragmatics. which products can get get to
be field tested? which smart gun technologies will pass the government lab testing? and right now, if you wanted to buy a smart gun, you would have a very difficult time doing it. but what we can do in technology is advance the state, such that you have that option. and so, we are really careful to make sure that we focus in on innovation and use a tried and true, trusted process in the silicon valley and let the best ideas be the ones that are the ones that are commercially viable. >> give us some ideas, (inaudible). >> sure. the field of smart gun technology is an interesting field. it spans academic research, commercial research, a lot of the federal funding for smart gun technology in the u.s.
stopped in the late 90s. and so, part of the excitement that we have here today is the ability to reignite, the innovation and creativity around some of those promising technologies. some of those include pass codes, others include electronic firing pins and others include rfids and so that you need to be in the proximity of a wrist band, of a ring, in order for the gun to fire. so when we called upon the tech community earlier in january to send us all of their ideas, we heard that there were a lot more ideas that could be pursued. those include gps, and having software systems on the guns. and a bunch of ideas that may seem crazy today. but through the innovative process, we can see which ones